Dwight Watt - Watt Thoughts #147 1/22/2008

#147 - Votes for conventions and the Electoral College? (Watt Thoughts)

For seven years we have heard from many Democrats that the 2000 election was unfair. They have said Gore won the popular vote, but Bush won the Electoral College and the election. They have consistently said this should not happen in a democracy and definitely not in America.

The results of this election were consistent with the way that the founders set in the Constitution. What is often not considered is that we are not a democracy, but a republic based on democracy principles. We were founded as a union of states, and the Constitution is based on that.

Did anyone notice what happened in Nevada Saturday? Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but lost the race for delegates. Have you heard any Democrats (or anyone) saying that this is patently unfair and undemocratic. Why are not the Democrat party members challenging how the nominating process their party uses, for the leader of a world recognized democracy, not sending delegates to the convention to recognize the popular vote of a sovereign state? Clinton beat Obama in the popular vote but Obama beat her in delegates 13-12.

What actually happened here is the same as happens in the regular election. It is not really a single national election to elect the president, but fifty different elections to elect delegates to a convention (who are pledged but not required to vote for a certain candidate) which is the Electoral College.. In the case of the Democrat caucuses, everyone realized they were merely electing the delegates from their caucus and not for an over all state vote to choose them. This is the reason for no outcry as most people understood how the selections were made for the delegates. This is also the reason many advocate we leave caucuses and go to solely primaries.

Given that people accept and understand this, we should consider going to a requirement that all ballots for the national election not just show the candidate the electors are being pledged for, but also state we are voting for the electors and list them. I know this was done this way in some states (and probably still is) but it is not in many states where only the name of presidential candidate is listed. Electoral College delegates do not always vote for the person they are pledged for. There may be a need to put a requirement to require them to vote as pledged, if we do not choose to abandon the Electoral College.

Lets be consistent in understanding conventions/electoral colleges and how the people's vote counts.



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Corrected 1/24/2008